U-M Alumnae selected for Blue Origin launch
Aisha Bowe will make history when she boards an upcoming Blue Origin flight that will cross the Kármán line – the internationally recognized boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. She will be the first female U-M alum and sixth Black woman to do so.
Bowe holds a BSE in Aerospace Engineering and an M. Eng. in Space Systems Engineering from the University of Michigan, and sits on the university’s Aerospace Department Industry Advisory Board. She is the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Recent Alumna Award at the College of Engineering.
A former NASA rocket scientist, entrepreneur and future commercial astronaut, Bowe is the first Black woman confirmed to travel on a commercial flight to space with Blue Origin, traveling aboard the New Shepard launch vehicle.
“I’m going to space!” Aisha shared the news on social media last week.
“As the first Black woman confirmed to fly with @blueorigin on #NewShepard, I am expected to be the sixth Black woman to cross the Kármán line – the internationally recognised boundary of space!”
Finding her place in history, Aisha commented, “This mission comes 30 years after former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison became the first Black woman to travel to space in 1992. Since then, there are only four other Black women who carry that distinction: NASA astronauts Stephanie Wilson, Joan Higginbotham, Jessica Watkins and Dr Sian Proctor of the SpaceX Inspiration4 Mission.”
Aisha is also the founder and CEO of STEMBoard, a tech company that engages youth in STEM educational opportunities. Her company launched LINGO to provide self-paced coding kits that exposes students from junior high to college sophomores to the fundamentals of hardware and software design through home based kits.
Bowe has won numerous awards for her dedication to engineering excellence and the importance of diversity and opportunity for all young engineers.
A graduate of Pioneer High School, Bowe attended Washtenaw Community College before beginning her studies at U-M. She has since returned frequently to Pioneer and U-M to talk about her career journey with students.